Laura Gardner // Acting Teacher

Laura Gardner has been on the faculty of The Howard Fine Acting Studio for over 18 years. She has taught in Wales at The Actors Workshop and the Academy of Musical Theatre, in NYC at HB StudiosStella Adler Institute, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and for the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. She is a frequent guest teacher in New Mexico and teaches her ‘Authenticity Workshop’ across the country. Laura been a featured artist at The Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska for the last 10 years where she created The Monologue workshop. She was also awarded the Media Access Award for her more than 20 years of coaching Actors with Disability. Laura trained at Boston University, Rutgers, and HB Studio, where she studied with Uta Hagen, Carol Rosenfeld, and Ken McMillan.  She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress by the LA Weekly for her performance in Fighting Words, which opened at the Celtic Arts Center in Los Angeles and then transferred to the Millennium Center in Wales. She was also nominated for an ADA Best Actress for Idle Wheels at The Road Theatre, by Alaska writer/actor James Morrison. Laura appeared on Broadway in Smile. Her Off-Broadway credits include The Cocktail Hour with Nancy Marchand and Bruce Davison, Other People’s Money, and Welded, directed by Jose Quintero. She toured nationally with Showboat, Doonesbury, Oliver, and My Fair Lady. Her extensive regional credits include the Arena Stage, Huntington Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, and the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival. LA credits include The Road Theatre, The Rogue Machine, Pasadena Playhouse, Will Geer Botanicum, Westwood Playhouse, Greenway Court, Tiffany Theatre, Fountain Theatre, Deaf West, Road Theatre Company and Sacred Fools. Some of her TV and film credits include Outcast, Doubt, Scandal, Fresh Off the Boat, Secrets and Lies, Criminal Minds, Castle, Law and Order LA, Torchwood, The Forgotten, Crash, ER, Close to Home, and The West Wing. You may have seen Laura and her husband, Frank Collison, recurring on the NBC hit My Name is Earl. Laura also shot the pilot Shredd, as Jason Lee’s rather wacky mother. Laura resides in Los Angeles with Frank and their two large puppies.


‘Laura’s unwavering dedication to help others is what makes her unique as a teacher. Whether it’s preparing for an audition, working on stage, in a film, or rehearsing a scene for class, Laura has the necessary tools and experience to help you create your best work. She is truly brilliant at acknowledging what each individual excels at naturally, and in a positive and constructive way she encourages them to embrace, explore, and tackle fears and challenges as they arise. By asking her students to dig deeper she is able to help them develop confidence, and the ability to create rich, believable, and compelling characters. My training with Laura has proven invaluable and has given me a foundation that I continue to draw from each and every day as a working actor.’

Beth Riesgraf, Actress (The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, NCIS)


‘Working with Laura Gardner not only helped me to become better at my craft of acting but also because of her amazing presence as a teacher allowed me to take chances without fear. I’ve truly become a much better actor all around because of her. Between scene study & private coaching Laura is the one stop shop for all actors!’

McKenzie Westmore, Actress (Star Trek, Passions, All My Children)